August 20, 2020

By: Mrinalini Sundar


I am a mother to a two-year-old and one question has haunted me daily since things began shutting down due to COVID-19, “How do I engage my son today?” It is tough keeping those curious minds indoors, but thankfully, Oakville is in stage three and things are beginning to open up.

It was on one of these “what can I do differently?” days that I thought of Gairloch Gardens. I had crossed this gem several times but hadn’t actually seen the grounds. This was my chance to explore one of Oakville’s most beautiful lakeside outlooks and let my son have his share of safe outdoor fun.

Follow my seven tips for an outing at Gairloch Gardens and you’ll experience a refreshing outdoor adventure for the whole family that keeps the kids engaged and entertained. Please remember to be respectful while exploring Oakville and follow social distancing protocols with other visitors at the park.

1. Get your own DIY craft kit

Step up your game and pick up some DIY craft kits on your way to the gardens for the kids to try at the park. We stepped into Dollarama and picked up Pom Pom Animals. I also got a train puzzle set to engage the little guy. You could also check out local craft stores like Soap N Crafts, Dove + Arrow, Crack Pot Studio for craft supplies. If you want to throw in some physical activity, bring a football with you for a quick game of catch.

2. Spot fauna

Gairloch Gardens offers a variety of flora and fauna. Mine was a little too excited spotting frogs, turtles, fish, ducks, and swans.

3. Head to the rose garden

The colours, the variety and the smell of roses are astounding here. Take in all that beauty and appreciate the little things in life. Also, don’t miss out the giant hibiscus flowers right outside the garden.

4. Take in some views of the lake

I caught myself engrossed in the stillness of the lake and the bustling city skyline. The undisturbed breathtaking view is something and falls under our don’t-miss-this-one list!

5. Take pics on the tiny bridge

Gairloch Gardens has been a hot spot for parties, celebrations, weddings and events of all kinds. The place offers plenty of opportunities for you to take Instagram-worthy pictures. We particularly liked the tiny bridge which is perfect for mushy pics with your loved ones.

6. Indulge in art

While the art gallery is currently closed, I would definitely like to complete my future trips to Gairloch Gardens by visiting the art gallery. For now, we just perched on the bench outside, soaked in all the sun and enjoyed the view!

7. Find a perfect spot for a picnic

Gairloch Gardens is always perfect for a little picnic with the fam. Pack up some charcuterie and drinks and you are all set. Want to grab a meal on your way? Head to local cafes like Stoney’s Bread Company, Buca Di Bacco, Hexagon and The Crepe Kitchen for some takeout. Oh, I also grabbed Cosmos by Carl Sagan to complete some reading for the day. Grab a book, find a spot, and forget the world!